As the 2017 summer league season comes to an end, it is time to roll out CBBSN’s collegiate summer league updates from around the country. Over the next two weeks, our scouts will be sharing how their school’s players have fared over the season, and how they look to project going into fall practice.
by Kurt Ascetta
Although the college season ended for the Sun Devils earlier than the program is used to, many players continued to play in some of the many collegiate summer leagues around the country.
These leagues exist for players to continue to develop and improve their game as they are exposed to competition they likely would not face during the regular season. These leagues can also expose players to MLB scouts, as organizations start to prepare for the MLB Amateur Draft for the following year.
This year, much of ASU’s talent in the summer leagues consisted of underclassmen, but they will be the core of the team moving forward as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2017.
Carter Aldrete: Newport Gulls, New England Collegiate League
Aldrete opened some eyes as he led the Sun Devils in RBI as a freshman. Despite a sluggish start in June for the Gulls, Aldrete’s bat kicked into gear the month of July.
From July 6th to July 21, the ASU infielder went on a 10-game hit-streak, batting .432 with three home runs (homered in three straight games) and nine RBIs.
Overall, his OBP of .364 is significantly higher than during his freshman year, because of his ability to take walks and be more selective as a hitter.
Garvin Alston Jr.: North Adams Steeplecats, New England Collegiate League
Alston fell in the pecking order of the bullpen early in the season following a rough outing against Cal State Fullerton, but managed success in several outings against Stanford and Arizona down the stretch.
His stint with the Steeplecats has also had its ups and downs, as he had 16 strikeouts and 17 walks in 15 innings pitched. Alston has held opponents scoreless in his first seven appearances, showing he can be valuable out of the bullpen in his senior season.
Hunter Bishop: Brewster Whitecaps, Cape Cod League
Following a promising freshman year, Bishop has struggled in the Cape Cod League against some of college baseball’s best talent.
Only hitting .218 with seven extra base hits in 101 at-bats, coaches and scouts still admire Bishop’s potential as he has reportedly hit some of the furthest home runs in batting practice on the team. He has managed to come through in the clutch with his 11 RBIs, while also swiping seven bases this summer.
Frank Dickson: Hamilton Joes, Great Lakes League
Dickson was redshirted as a freshman in 2017 but has seen plenty of action this summer. He is currently third on the team in innings pitched, going six innings in each of his last two starts.
He has a tendency to fall behind on hitters, leading to a walk rate of nearly one walk per inning. That number will certainly need to improve if he wants to see significant playing time.
Connor Higgins: Brewster Whitecaps, Cape Cod League
Joined by fellow Sun Devil Hunter Bishop, Higgins followed an impressive campaign as a sophomore with four solid starts for the Whitecaps. In 20 innings, Higgins posted a 2.74 ERA with 14 strikeouts and 19 hits allowed.
The big lefty was primarily a reliever for ASU in the spring, making a few long relief appearances as well one-inning outings and matching up against some of the stronger left-handed hitters in the PAC-12.
Taylor Lane: North Adams Steeplecats, New England League
Joining teammate Garvin Alston Jr. playing for the Steeplecats this summer, Lane has been one of the most consistent hitters for the team, amassing nine multi-hit games, bringing his summer average to .309.
The versatile infielder also has hit four home runs, two of them in the same game, and followed that up by starting an eight- game hitting streak the next week, where he hit .500 (14 for 28).
Lane saw playing time at second base, third base and first base this year for the Sun Devils. Head coach Tracy Smith should be able to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup if he carries his production into 2018.
Lyle Lin: Bourne Braves, Cape Cod League
Lin was the hottest bat in the first half of the season for ASU, putting up some of the best numbers to start a season ever by an ASU freshman. His consistent play has followed him into the summer season, hitting .295 and leading the Braves with 21 RBIs.
The next step for Lin as a hitter would be to start developing his power. He only has five extra-base hits this summer (all doubles), and only had a slugging percentage of .371 despite batting .290 on the year for the Sun Devils.
Alec Marsh: Lakeshore Chinooks, Northwoods League
Marsh made eleven appearances, including one start, for the Sun Devils in the spring, pitching a total of 21 innings with 13 strikeout and 11 walks.
In his last three starts for the Chinooks, he totaled 24 innings, 24 strikeouts, six walks and one earned run. In other words, he has been lights out.
Despite early struggles out of the bullpen for Lakeshore, Marsh has found something that has clicked for him, as he hopes to fight for a rotation spot next spring.
Dellan Raish: Arroyo Seco Saints, California Collegiate League
Raish was also a redshirt this season for ASU. The lefty out of Cave Creek, Arizona has 19 strikeouts in 16 innings, but has allowed 24 hits which have inflated his ERA above 7.00.
Raish will face some tough competition fighting for a bullpen role this year, so it will be interesting to see what role he plays as the season unfolds.
Fitz Stadler: Wareham Gatemen, Cape Cod League
It has been an uphill battle for Stadler all summer after allowing four runs in two innings in his first appearance. He’s given up only four runs in the 15 innings he has pitched since then, recording only six walks in that time.
Stadler saw a good amount of pitching time early in the spring for ASU, but was hardly utilized in conference play. The tall righty stands at 6-foot-9 and will look to be an important arm for ASU this season.
Spencer Van Scoyoc: Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Cape Cod League
Van Scoyoc seems to have shown glimpses of improvement this summer. He has gotten through starts as long as six innings, which he failed to accomplish in the spring, showing he will be in the mix for ASU’s rotation in 2018.
His control remains the number one concern, as his walk rate was still around a walk per inning, not far off his pace from the regular season. The ERA is still low and he has the stuff to strike hitters out.
If he can harness the ability to throw strikes consistently, he has the ability to become one of the best pitchers in the PAC-12.
Tanner West: Bellingham Bells, West Coast League
West showed mild success in limited innings for ASU, only allowed three earned runs but walking seven in 9 ⅔ innings.
This summer, the walks remain a concern, but West has recorded seven strikeouts in just over 10 innings while holding opposing hitters to a measly .160 batting average, allowing a hit in just two of his seven appearances.
Many players have made the most of their time in the summer leagues, while others will head into the fall semester with room for improvement before the start of the season.
While summer league performances are certainly not the end-all be-all, the ability for players to go off and play in leagues across the country, many of them hundreds or thousands of miles from home, says a lot about their makeup and how they handle change and react in different environments to new situations.